Type of item: Home Decor
Style: Traditional, Romantic, Classic, Retro / Vintage, Victorian / Steampunk
Shimmering Blue/Gray Polyester Drapery Fabric, White Cotton Piping, Cuphooks, Safety Pins.
What was your inspiration?
I'm excited to show you my big fat mistake, and how I turned my problem into a success, making great tie-backs for drapes! I found a bolt of a shimmering blue/gray polyester drapery fabric from Hancock Fabric to make drapes for the North Bedroom in the 1890s Victorian we are restoring. I made yards and yards of fabric covered piping for the drapery hem out of this shimmering blue/gray fabric, and realized later I mis-calculated the amount of yardage needed to make drapes and valances for 3 windows. I didn't have enough material to make the valances . . . . Worse yet, the drape material was too stiff and didn't want to puddle--so I'd wasted all that fabric making piping for the hem and couldn't use it! Ahhhhh, what to do with all that dang piping???? The answer came quickly as I decided to make cinnamon bun tie-backs out of the piping. First, I divided the piping into three lengths since I had 3 windows to dress. The first length (1st window), I cut two 16" cords of piping to make a pair of tie-backs and with the remaining piping from that first length I wrapped it around and around, taking hand-stitches to form a 4-5' diameter cinnamon bun medallion. I sewed the the cinnamon bun to the middle of the 16" cord. I made the drapes to floor length (regular 4" hem), and hung up the drapes. I used a small cork-screw type cuphook into the woodwork. I gathered up the drapery fabric with the tie back, pinned the cord ends together with a safety pin and hooked the safety pin on the cupboard hook. A safety pin? Yes, a Safety Pin, because it's easier than adding velcro, or snaps, or hooks. A safety pin is . . . easy on, easy off, an inexpensive. Who's gonna look?
What are you most proud of?
We have 13 rooms in our old Victorian we are restoring. 10 rooms finished, and I have three rooms yet to repair walls cracks with web tape, durabond, and two skim coats of drywall compound, two coats of primer, two coats of latex enamel color, new ceilings, and added crown molding. We're into our 5th year of restoration saving this beautiful 120 year old home from decay. This house sat vacant for almost 40 years before we sought it out to own and restore. Another 10 years of decay and the house would have been torn down. We just couldn't let that happen. I am 60+ years old. I spent two summers on a bucket truck, scraping, priming, painting the exterior. There have been months of climbing scaffold like a monkey--scraping wallpaper and I am still thrilled to be a part of this restoration journey. New electrical, plumbing, and heating. We made no changes to the footprint of house. All the woodwork and door/window hardware are original. We've done the work ourselves. If you'd like to see hundreds of our restoration photos and our story, take a look at our website--1893victorianfarmhouse.
What advice would you give someone starting this project?
How do I pick room colors for our old house restoration? First, I looked for bolts of fabric "on sale is always my goal." Create your own hand made drapes, lampshade covers, accessories, and select wall color from your inspiration bolt of fabric. When we bought our old Victorian, my husband made me promise I would not decorate rooms in pink with cabbage roses. At his suggestion I chose a pallet based on men's tailored suits in wall colors of charcoal, walnut brown, gunmetal blue/gray, and olive green. Other colors inspired me, and I like to think of them as men's ties in aged photo gold, barn red, lake blue/green. And there's no doubt how the rest of it falls into place with men's crisp shrits of white and off white in bedding, linens, and crown molding. Best wishes to you on all of your home projects. I hope each one is a success for you, and don't get upset by a mistake along the way. Sometimes my mistakes make me think "out-of the box" and often they turn out better than I'd planned.